Oftentimes our work is more of a place of restrictions with schedules, rules, guidelines, and deadlines. Knowing appropriate boundaries are necessary, how can we create an environment where team members are encouraged to lead, and work so more can be accomplished?

One way to help foster autonomy is through delegation of duties.

Delegation leads to success and empowerment of team members. Who doesn’t want something they can call their own? If leaders will learn to train and let go of projects, they will likely benefit from both the time free to work on other things and the fresh ideas being brought from the team member put in charge.

Another way to practice autonomy is to look within our own team.

As leaders, we may be wasting time searching for new and fresh talent to come to our team when the fresh talent may be right in the hearts of the people who are there now. It is important to tap into those who are currently serving, even if we haven’t seen evidence of what we are looking for yet.

Let me share this story as an example”¦

When I was an Executive Director, I had a volunteer who seemed shy and reserved. She really only wanted to help with administrative duties when she came in to volunteer. Eventually, I began asking her advice in situations and using her to lead prayer times in staff meetings. Over time I saw something more in this person. She had a real heart for our clients and her words were full of wisdom. I asked her if she would be willing to train to become a client advocate and begin meeting with clients on her own. She was hesitant at first but agreed to go through the process of training.